View Full Version : Cutting blue spring steel - what's best?

Mike Burdick
10-02-2003, 10:31 PM
What is the best way to cut blue spring steel. I need to cut some that is about 0.018" thick into special strips for a top secret auto-pilot I'm developing. (just kidding)

Can I put it in a mill with proper backing near the cut and use a carbide or high speed steel end mill? Are there any other ways to cut the strips without the mill? I was going to try a hand shears but think I will wait and see what you all think before I potentially ruin them.


Al Messer
10-02-2003, 10:37 PM
You mean like clock springs?

Mike Burdick
10-02-2003, 11:21 PM

Sorry, I need to be a little clearer.

I have a piece of spring steel that is approx. 8" x 12" flat. From this, I intend to cut strips that are 1" wide x 8" in length. I will put these strips into something that will put a slight arch in the spring steel. These will be used to hold some photographs for producing a 3-D view.

What's the best method and material to cut the strips? End mill, snips,......


[This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 10-02-2003).]

Forrest Addy
10-02-2003, 11:25 PM
0.015 sheet spring steel shears very nicely on a foot shear if the knife clearance has been adjusted correctly for the stock thickness.

Ask your local small sheet metal shop for an assist but be sure the cut the stuff on the sharp side of the shear.

10-02-2003, 11:31 PM
I take it that its thin spring steel?Maybe .01-.065"?If it is I use a good sharp hand shear,like a throatless beverly shear,I have even used a leaf brake to snap pieces to width and then cleaned them up by clamping between two pieces of wood and joining the edges with a belt sander.

10-03-2003, 01:26 AM
From experience I think a shear is the best way to cut this stuff. There may be a big problem with the material curling though.

I've seen a special kind of shear that might be ideal for this job. It has an upper blade that's parallel to the lower blade. In other words it cuts the total width at the same time as opposed to shearing from one edge and across the width like the usual stomp shear does.

10-03-2003, 02:31 AM
If you have access to a stomp shear put the material between two pieces of .032 aluminum and shear it (it will save the shear blade and lube the cut). If not, try clamping between two pieces of heavy flat bar stock in a large vise, scribe both sides deep with a diamond or carbide point. Then snap it.

T Wise
10-03-2003, 06:52 AM
what I would try is probably not true spring steel, but why not find banding material the right size and just cut it to length.


10-03-2003, 08:24 AM
Use a flexshaft or dremel with a 1-1/2" diamond coated cut off wheel - use a wet cloth placed on the material to cool it.

I would have it sheared if possible - much faster, less work.